Feb. 4, 2022

Fresh Take: Kat Vellos On Friendship and Connection

Making friends as adults? Hard work. Seeing the friends we already have? Weirdly difficult. Post-pandemic social stamina? Not exactly helping. Kat Vellos, author of WE SHOULD GET TOGETHER, explains how to get intentional about the connection we need.


How is it possible to find ourselves lonely in the midst of crazy-busy lives? Why does adulthood mean you only see people you really like twice a year? How did friendship get so complicated?

Kat Vellos is a trusted expert on the power of cultivating meaningful friendships in adulthood. She’s the author of We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships, a book which has been helping adults around the world heal from disconnection and loneliness. Her follow-up book, Connected from Afar: A Guide for Staying Close When You’re Far Away, is filled with connection-boosting exercises to help us cultivate closeness and belonging no matter how far away we are from the ones we love.

In this episode, Kat and Amy discuss

  • the paradox of our increasingly busy lives, with more opportunities to meet people, and our decreasing feelings of connection
  • how to overcome our decreased "social stamina" as we come out of the pandemic
  • our main challenges to connection– and how to get intentional about getting the amount of connection that is just right for each one of us

 

Check out weshouldgettogether.com for all of Kat's books and calendars, plus tons of resources to help you cultivate better friendships.

Find out more about Kat's talks and coaching at katvellos.com.

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Transcript

What Fresh Hell 

“Fresh Take”: Kat Vellos

Amy: [00:00:00] I'm talking to Kat Vellos. She's a trusted expert on the power of cultivating meaningful friendships and adulthood. She's the author of WE SHOULD GET TOGETHER: THE SECRET TO CULTIVATING BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, a book which has been helping adults around the world heal from disconnection.

Her followup, CONNECTED FROM AFAR: A GUIDE FOR STAYING CLOSE WHEN YOU’RE FAR AWAY is filled with connection-boosting exercises to help us cultivate closeness and belonging, no matter how far away we are from the ones we love. Welcome Kat!

Kat Vellos: Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here. 

Amy: So let's start at the beginning of the book because it spoke to me– the place where you start. You say that, you know, you had a, a happy, busy life fulfilled tons of acquaintances and were surprised to find yourself not isolated, but still lonely.What sort of sparked that realization? 

Kat Vellos: It wasn't [00:01:00] like a big dramatic kind of like crushing sense of melancholy or doom or anything like that. It was actually like made itself really apparent in really simple ways. And one of the stories I opened up the book with just talks about it being like a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

I'm in a good mood. I want to hang out and I want to go eat French fries and talk to a friend about my life and talk about their life. And there was literally no one available. You know, I dunno if you've had the experience in adulthood of feeling like you need to schedule like six weeks in advance, if you want to see somebody, but that was definitely true.

And so the idea of being spontaneously available for friendship or for connection or a hangout was just, it felt impossible. And it was a recurring thing, right? It wasn't just that one Saturday afternoon, it was like the sense of the availability of. Connection and the type that I wanted, it was just not as available as I really, really needed, honestly.

And wanted it to be my curiosity about that experience for me. I was like, am I the only one dealing with this as well? I would just like talk [00:02:00] to more people about it. And it was like pretty pervasive. Like it was so common. I was like, we can't just all be quietly dealing with this problem. And like, Trying to fix it.

Amy: Kat both wrote and illustrated this book. They're beautiful illustrations. So funny, so creative. And I remember the illustration for this moment. It's of that thing we've all done. Like, “Hey, I'm heading down to– I’m going to be a Midtown tonight. Anybody want to grab dinner with me?” And you just get in your comments 18 versions of “wish I could! I moved away! I think of you all the time!” You get all the people who say “no” listing their reasons that they can't. I've done that. I've been that person too.  “wish I could be there with you! I'm not going to come though.” And that that's connection now, right?

Kat Vellos: Yeah, exactly. It's like, just by when we acknowledge that we wish we could be connecting, especially in real time, same place, same time. Like that ends up being the substitute for actually getting time with each other. 

Amy: Yes. Right. And it's a poor substitute, isn't it? 

Kat Vellos: Yeah. We're only there [00:03:00] in spirit with each other and only in sentiment, but we got to start, you know, moving beyond that.

Amy: And so why is that? So you you've talked about this paradox in the book that we have, you know, more to do, busy lives. And so therefore we do have more opportunities to meet people than ever before. I do think I have, I live in New York city. I could meet many people each day, even though I'm staying home a lot right now for a lot of reasons… it's available to me, it's out there.And yet we. Um, I mean, according to reports and studies that have been done, we are reporting, right? Like as a society, less fulfilling experiences of friendship than our forebears. 

Kat Vellos: And it's interesting, the way I mentioned this in the book is like, there's kind of two camps, right? Some people say, oh, we're more connected now because we have so many ways to be connected.

Everybody has a phone in their pocket. Like we have the internet, all these things. Whereas people say like in the past, you know, oh, they were so much more connected. Life was slower. There was more simple times like. You lived in the same town for your whole life. So the people you knew knew you really deeply, but then on the flip side, especially for anybody of [00:04:00] any kind of diverse background who, who wanted to leave their town, they might've felt trapped.

Or if you didn't feel understood by the people that were in your town, then you're going to feel probably lonely there too. And vice versa. People say like, despite all the internet and connection opportunities that we have now with technology. We have higher rates of loneliness than ever before. So it's really like, I don't spend a lot of time trying to like, figure out like where to put the blame.

Yes. The focus is really on like, let's identify what feels like the right amount of connection for you. And if you're not getting it right now, let's figure out how to make that 

Amy: happen. Okay. So, and you reach that set point for yourself and how do you begin to sort of quantify. Am I lonely. And what does, what amount of connection would be more satisfying?

Kat Vellos: It's a really personal decision. It's sort of like, if you and I are going to sit down to eat a meal together, your appetite is going to be different than mine, you know? And if I had a really big lunch, then maybe I want a little bit less dinner right now. And so there's so much about this. That's personal.

Like maybe you're an introvert and then someone else has. [00:05:00] You know, like the amount that you need to feel satiated and full is a very personal decision. You know, in one of the groups I run last night, one of the women was saying that she's a really, really deep introvert. Like she's so content to go for, like days just hanging out by herself.

She doesn't get lonely, but she knows that she would be healthier probably if she maintained connections a little bit more frequent. And so with her, like the amount that's going to feel like enough for her is probably a much smaller dose than someone who's like, I'm an extrovert. I want to connect a lot.

I want to connect every day. I want to have people around me. I want to have a big rock as group of friends that person's appetite for connection is quite a bit higher. And so they're going to take different actions based on those needs and pressures. So if you're somebody 

Amy: who is more introverted and I would identify myself that way too, there's an extent to which too much connection and too much socialization can be tiring or that small talk can be, innervating not energizing and that you need less of it.

You're [00:06:00] definitely aren't saying in this book, which I like is like, you just need to put yourself out there. You just need to shake hands with everybody. You meet and be friends with everybody, right. Make a hundred friends, and then you'll have more friends. If that's not really what it's about now, 

Kat Vellos: that's definitely not.

And I'm an introvert. So I get that, you know, like, I don't want to try to feel like I'm maintaining a million friendships. I know it's impossible. I know I will be drained. I know every one of those relationships will suffer because I'm stretched too thin. Right. For someone like me, who's, you know, maybe there are other insurers out there who can identify having a smaller number of friendships that are much, much deeper is actually the thing that's most fulfilling for me.

And 

Amy: what about extroverts? I mean, on our podcast. So I'm more of the introvert and my co-host is more of the extrovert. We're opposites in many ways. And, you know, I have definitely heard her say over the years we've been doing this podcast, like I'm good with friends, I've got enough friends, but also talks about how these past years have been really lonely for her.

So what would you say to this sort of extrovert? That's like, I got plenty of friends. I don't think I need to do work on how much connection I need. 

Kat Vellos: Yeah. [00:07:00] The thing about connection is that it's not just about quantity. It's not about a number of friends. It's about the quality of these relationships and whether they actually deliver the feeling of fulfillment that you crave from your friendships, you can get that need met with one friend.

You might be somebody who needs to spread that. For friends or seven friends, but it's really not about the number. It's about what happens when you interact with that person. And how does that meet or not meet your needs for connection. And then how can you then adjust how you show up, how you invite the other person to show up what.

What you can like bring into your existence together that allows that type of connection to come out. Do you understand what I'm saying? I totally do. It's about the quality of the relationship more so than like the number, the 

Amy: number of people you talk to each day. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I get it. Okay. Let's take a break.

And when we come back, I want to hear how the pandemic changes this. And as we come out of our caves, what we can sort of take [00:08:00] away from what we've learned. 

So I'm back, I'm talking to Kat Vellos, she's the author of we should get together the secret to cultivating better friendships. So I want to talk about the pandemic. I saw on Twitter that you did a poll last month, where you asked your followers about their social stamina, which I thought was a great term now, as opposed to before the pandemic and to my great non surprise, 79% of people said that their social stamina is way low.

Why do you think that is? And is that a problem? 

Kat Vellos: One of the reasons I think it is, is because. We have been in a state of like forced contraction around our socializing period. Right. So if I were to make an analogy to say, like working out, you know, which is also something I have not done a lot of independent, it's like, if you are used to going to the gym all the time and running a lot and lifting a lot of.

Like your stamina for say running or for weightlifting is going to be a lot higher. You're going to be able to do a lot [00:09:00] more because you're using those muscles very frequently. And similarly with socializing, you know, when we think about our pre pandemic lives, most people say that they were like running around doing lots of things.

It like blows their mind to think about the fact that in one week they would have. Three lunches out to happy hours to birthday parties, you know, a baby shower, like all these different things that would just fit into like seven days. And now it's like, oh my God, if I do two things, I'm exhausted. And I feel like I need a week off.

And so, but it's similar to like, if I tried to get on the treadmill right now, not going to be running like. Back in that former life where I might've exercised a 

Amy: lot more. Yes. And so for some of us, I guess we're all feeling deconditioned, even extroverts among us are still saying like, oh my God, I can't believe I did 16 things in a week like that.

Yeah. And some of us look at that and think. I never wanted to do that in the first place, and I'm not going to return to that. Right. And some people are like the sooner, the better that I get to see all my friends. [00:10:00] So is this an opportunity for us to establish a new set point for ourselves and how do we go about absolutely.

Kat Vellos: One thing I think is really beautiful about it is that it gives everybody permission to cause and reflect and say, what do you actually want? Like, what is the life you actually want to be living? And how can you make that more intensive? So, if you want to go back to the way it was doing 16 things in a week, and you're just like raring to go.

And that's what you want. Find your people who want to do that too, but understand that not everybody wants to go back there. Not everybody wanted to be there in the first place. I was one of those people that was like, oh my gosh, it's a bit much. I'm ready to relax a little bit now. And so I've kind of actually welcomed the opportunity to slow down, obviously.

Welcome to the pandemic. My goodness. Right. But, but welcome the opportunity to slow down and to say it's okay to like read my book tonight and to not have to feel guilty saying, no, I don't want to go to the Oscar party or whatever. I'm not [00:11:00] interested in the Oscars anyway, you know? So like having to not navigate a lot of.

Getting out of social obligations is honestly I think a welcome break for a lot of folks. And it also might also fit with the fact that our social stamina does feel a bit reduced because we're out of practice to 

Amy: write in your book. You're really intentional about, you know, Thinking about the friends you see once a week, think about the friends you see once a month.

Think about the friends who lived down the street. Think about the friends who live a plane ride away and who falls into what category and the pandemic sort of forced another set of categories. Right? I'm thinking of the people who I saw last fall when people sort of returned to New York were just starting to come back.

The people who you were willing to see outside with a blanket on, on a rooftop in November, because you hadn't seen each other. And you told your tales of the crazy. And then there are the people who, at this point you haven't seen in almost two years and you know, they're fine. Cause you would know on social media if they weren't, but you haven't had that.

Hey, how's it going? [00:12:00] How are you conversation? Do you let that sort of. Self sorting. Do you take that message at face value? Is there anybody that you've said, wow, I really noticed that this person and I have fallen off during the pandemic and it's a priority for me to get that back. I'm curious if that's sort of a valid self sorting thing or if it can have flaws, what do you think?

I think 

Kat Vellos: it might 

Amy: be valid, but I'm not sure I'm not entirely valid. It doesn't mean like the people I don't like are the people I haven't seen. There's some people I really do. Like I'm thinking of a friend right now, a friend who moved to. 15 years ago. And I certainly make time to see her whenever I get over to London, which has been two or three times.

And she makes time, you know, when she comes to New York, same thing. But I don't know. When's the last time I had a phone conversation with her and yet she is one of those. Just favorite people. She's just a wonderful person. And so do you set that free? Do you decide to redouble your efforts? Are you intentional with reaching out to that person and saying, Hey, I really miss you.

And I really like to reconnect. And other related [00:13:00] to try this with you, or is it sort of, you know, all of the above or 

Kat Vellos: possible? One of the things that people say that they value the. About their truest, deepest friendships is that they can pick right back up where they left off. After any amount of time, whether it's been a year or 10 years, they can just get on the phone or get in a conversation.

And it's like, here we are and drop right back into. We're locked in to each other, you know, it's like, we can just get started. There's no apology needed. No disclaimer needed. It's like, of course we're going to be, we're cool. We're with each other. And if this is a friendship, like your friend in London and you were on that level with her, that like, no matter how much time passes, no matter how many miles have come between you, you know that when you get together, when you talk, like you can drop right back into that.

Then just accept that and a be really grateful for it too, because that is like the gold standard of friendship. Right. That's like the holy grail of friendship and that's a real gift. And [00:14:00] then for many people, particularly in the pandemic, what they're looking at is a different tier of friendship where they have a little bit more like question marks floating around their head.

If like, are we still friends? Like we haven't talked in a year or two. I would encourage people to not jump to the conclusion that just because you haven't talked means that they're mad at you or they don't like you, or you're not friends anymore, right. Or it's not worthy or it's not worthy. You're just on a break and nature takes a break.

It's winter right now. You know, the tree I looked at out my window this morning had zero leaves on it. It's just taken a break. I know what it's like when it's in full bloom. And I expect it to come in full bloom again when the time is right for that. So if your friendships are on a break, let them be on their break and expect that when the time is right.

And you feel ready for it and your friend feels ready for it. It can bloom again. So 

Amy: let's talk about some things in the book because the book is really quite deliberate and you can be intentional about, this is the amount of connection and friendship I want to have. And now here's how I'm going to go about creating it.

And I'm walk, walk through a little bit of that for our listeners, [00:15:00] because it can just feel very esoteric. Right? I wish I had more connection. We should all have more connection in our lives, you know? Understood. How do we go about doing that? Walk us through some of the approaches in the book. 

Kat Vellos: Yes. So one of the things that I do in the book is I divided into separate categories based on which of the four challenges people might be dealing with.

These were like the four main challenges that came up in my research around like what's getting in the way of friendship for peanut. Okay. One of them is the fact that people move around a lot and particularly before the pandemic. Complicated even further by the fact that many people had long commutes and they were like constantly working a lot.

Right. And so that hypermobility people being always on the move, people moving away, people moving to, and from places so quickly moving in and out of jobs, like all of those things can fracture relationships or make them harder to keep going. Right. Another one is the challenge of busy-ness people feeling like, oh my gosh, I'm so busy.

When am I supposed to see my. You know, particularly in middle adulthood, third challenge, being relationships and family, not to say that [00:16:00] relationships and family are there's anything wrong with that, but they take so much time and attention that often people feel like they don't have anything left for friends once they're dealing with like kids and partner.

And then the last one is really a difficulty with establishing intimacy. So it's like maybe you have friends, but you feel like you're always skating on the surface or like, Have a tragedy. You don't know who to call or you're in crisis. And you're like, I don't actually know who to ask for help. I don't know how to ask for help.

Or you just want to get like, in that deep, deep friend love, and you just don't know how to get beyond talking about TV shows. And so those are the four main categories and I suggest people, you know, you can jump straight to one if you're like, oh, that's my, 

Amy: so out of those four things, I mean, they all speak to me in one way or another as I suppose they would, for a lot of people for me, it's.

That I'm so busy, busy equals productivity, cross things off as a good thing today. And I will put on my list. I have a friend who called me yesterday, who we probably managed to see each other about once a month. Our kids have grown up together and she likes to talk on the phone. And I, you know, I like to see [00:17:00] people in person or to excavate to get better at talking on the phone, but I have on my list to call her today.

And, but I will, you know, I'll put it off and I'll put it off and I'll put it off until it's time to put my pajamas on, but I will have gotten one more thing done on my, to do list today. So that's where I'm getting in my own way of connection. What do you say to somebody like that to just stop putting it on your to-do list and call before it even gets on the list?

How do I get out of my own way on, I need to be productive instead of investing in friendships. 

Kat Vellos: Can we unpack this a little bit? Yeah. What, so in this example, it sounds like you're in some way, contextualizing this task of getting back to your friend with like a productivity or like a to-do list item, like a checklist item, right?

When you think about how it feels to connect with this friend, like, what are some of the emotions that come up? 

Amy: You know, it's very easy to speak to her. It's great to have spoken to her. And the, yeah, I think I find a little bit of a like, oh, I guess I could do it now, but only have five minutes, but I could [00:18:00] try it, but I should do this other thing.

First. I, the things that are weighing on. Jump the line of picking up the phone, even though having talked to her or even talking to her in the moment, it isn't like there's anything taxing about it at all. It's very pleasurable. It's relaxing, but I can't relax yet. I have to do these 2, 3, 4 things first.

Kat Vellos: Mm I see. And do you have a self-imposed requirement that talking to her takes a minimum? Number of minutes. 

Amy: No, but I think I do think I fall into the trap of, oh, I don't have time to call her now because we would talk for half an hour, but only have three minutes now. So I'm not going to call. I definitely do that to myself.

And I see my husband whose best friend lives in London, do a much better job than that. Of they're in such frequent contact. More frequent contact makes that easier. It doesn't it like I can talk for 90 seconds. Gotta go by. Right. It isn't the like time for the quarterly catch-up. 

Kat Vellos: Have you ever talked to your friends?

About this particular challenge, your feeling of like, you want to talk, but when you're short on time, you feel like you can't call cause you don't have a long time. [00:19:00] But you do this more quarterly catch up than like, let's say a five minute call two times a week. Have you ever discussed this 

Amy: with her now?

I haven't. That feels scary, but it's possible. Isn't it? 

Kat Vellos: Yeah. And the, where I'm going with this and if we had longer time and we were like in a real coaching relationship, we would explore this more. Yeah. But where I'm going with this. Evaluating a, like, where are the times in our life and in our relationships where we're working under a set of invented rules that we have about how we can engage with the other person.

And those rules are maybe imposed by us. Maybe we absorbed them through life, but there are completely bendable and we can even throw them away. And then. What does the other person think and feel about this and how can we involve them in coming up with a solution together. But if we're struggling with a problem, which is feeling like we're not doing enough, or we're not doing the thing, right.

And they don't even know that we're having this challenge, then they can't reassure us that nothing is wrong. They can't say, oh, I would like to do this other thing that you haven't even thought of. Would you be open to that? There's so much [00:20:00] possibility. Creative like collaboration and how we solve these problems.

And sometimes we get so wrapped up in like running it over in our head over and over and over again, nothing's changing. We're feeling stuck. The other person doesn't even know. 

Amy: Right. She would think it was so strange. I was overthinking this. It doesn't 

Kat Vellos: even have to be that big of a problem. You know what 

Amy: I mean?

Yeah. I totally know what you mean. Okay. Let's take a break. When we come back, I'm going to ask Kat about hydroponic friendship. 

So we're back, we're talking to Kat Vellos. She is the author of, we should get together the secret to cultivating better friendships. I want to ask you Kat about hydroponic friendship and what that means.

Kat Vellos: Yes. So I am a plant mom. I don't have any pets, but I have over 60 plants. Wow. And a garden. So a lot of my life is in plant metaphors. And you'll see this in the book. I use a lot of plant metaphors and hydroponic friendship is a concept that I came up with around what to do when we need to grow a friendship.

And as busy working adults, we feel like we don't have time, or [00:21:00] we don't know what to do. And yeah. Blossoming say the way that we want. And I was really inspired by the fact that we know in the plant world that hydroponics are not just a way to grow plants, but it's often a way to grow plants even bigger than they would grow.

Naturally. If you just put them in the soil and left them to their own devices, for those who don't know, when you grow plants, hydroponically, you put them in water instead of soil, and you add a lot of nutrients to the water. And as a result, when the plants grow. I have all, everything that they need right there.

And it's often done with like such care and intention that like you're measuring like all of these different minerals and things that are feeding the planet so that you're giving it exactly what it needs in a very specific, concentrated dose. And so the concept of hydroponic friendship is to say, and I'm going to flip back and forth in the metaphor here, but if you don't have abundant soil, which is what plants typically grow in, in this.

Friendship. We often think needs abundant time. You certainly heard that in the last example. Yes, you can apply nutrient. Which would be a really enriching, really [00:22:00] immersive experience of connection to the plant in this case, the people so that it can grow it K a your friendship can really blossom and really thrive.

And that's the whole concept of hydroponic friendship. 

Amy: Got it. And that you can sort of accelerate the process. I don't know if hydroponic plants grow faster, but they certainly grow intentionally. Right. So you can, let's use the example of, oh, there's this mom I see every day at drop-off and she's so cool.

And you know, and I really do like her, and it seems like we might have something in common, but our lives are busy. Let's apply. These principles are sort of accelerating the process with this new friend, this acquaintance, how do we invest in this without seeming like a total stalker or a door? How do we, you know, approach this with generosity and.

Kat Vellos: Exactly. And I think that tenor of generosity and possibility is exactly how you do that. And by being really clear and upfront. So it's one thing, if you invite somebody to coffee and then they're like, so tell me your deepest, darkest secrets, that's a bait and switch. That's [00:23:00] weird. You're going to seem like a stalker.

I don't recommend doing that. However, if you say invite a group of the moms from drop-off to say. You know, I've been wanting to make friends with a lot of you. We haven't done it. I'm sure you're just as busy as I am. Do you want to come to a 42 minute cut to the chase? Happy hour, like bring your favorite drink, alcoholic or non alcoholic, and let's just get to know each other.

We're not going to do any small talk. Here's a list of five questions. I would love to explore with all of you and put that in the invitation. Whoever wants to come here. They know, it's a short amount of time and they are clear when they arrive, what your intention is for the gathering. It's not to talk about the weather.

It's not to talk about, you know, sleep schedules for the kids. It's to actually get to know each other, as people who have full identities beyond just being maybe the moms, you know, and when you do that, you create the opportunity to step into an alternate reality. And people often jump at the chance to be.

It's not just going to spontaneously happen in day-to-day life 

Amy: and this can accelerate the process. Right? You get to these questions. Kat has a whole calendar, the [00:24:00] better conversations calendar. I want to make sure to give you time to talk about all your things, but it lists all kinds of questions that are the alternatives to, how was your day when your kids come home or how are you when you meet somebody new?

You sort of argue that we ask. The dumbest questions that are, in fact, we get in our own, how are you? Is like the dumbest thing to ask somebody. And that's it's, for some reason, our tradition, we sort of get in our own way. Why is, how are you such a bad question to 

Kat Vellos: ask somebody? I wouldn't say it's like the dumbest question to ask.

I don't think I have worst thing. I don't think I have phrased it. Yeah. Although, you know, maybe in my own mind, but the challenge that I have with, how are you, and I've talked about this a lot on my blog and on Twitter. Unlike other questions. There's probably a couple others, but this is like the number one question that straddles the line between both a greeting and the question.

And then when you hear it, you don't know if someone's actually just saying hi or if they actually care about the answer. Yeah. Yeah. And if you actually care about the answer, it's a profound question. [00:25:00] And if you actually are a generous listener, you can really use that question to fully understand how someone really is doing.

If they trust you and feel that generous curiosity that they can open up into and tell you how they really are. However. When most people use it as a throwaway, they're like, Hey, how you doing? And then they're like walking away before you can even open your mouth. That's a greeting. We shouldn't use a question and the police have agreed and you should just say, good morning and then keep walking.

You know what I mean? I say yes. And so that's my beef with that question is that it's vague and it's often difficult to answer, especially in a time. Where let's say existential crisis, like living through in the pandemic, right? It's like, how am I in any given moment? I'm probably feeling like 11 different emotions and all of that would take over an hour to unpack with you.

So I can't actually answer the full question of how I am, unless I like shrink and minimize how I really am, but to shrink and minimize how I really am. It feels really bad. But I [00:26:00] have to do that cause we're trying to be efficient in a conversation. And so this is if it gets complicated and it gets sticky and some people love that question, they don't get what the big deal is.

And for people that don't like, it often feel a high amount of frustration with it, which is often what I do. And so I'm saying let's not like just be down on it or like bash on it. Let's actually use our imagination and our intention to really meet each other the way we want. If you want to give someone a greeting, give them a greeting.

If you want to ask a real question, ask a different. Because then it will be clear. You are really asking a question, not just saying hello

Amy: It occurred to me when you were saying that the pandemic, you know, two years ago, it was a terrible commonality of experience, but it was a common experience. And now two years in, you know, a lot of our listeners who have little kids who are still in vaccinated, And we don't even know when it's going to be and to see like certain people's lives completely returning to normal.

And maybe some people whose lives were never affected that much by the pandemic to begin with. And other people who lost someone who lost a [00:27:00] job, who, you know, really had a significant long-term disability, whatever there is not a commonality of experience anymore. So if you are the person who really is still feeling the real stress of this.

And getting a sort of, are you from somebody who is clearly, you know, sailing along obliviously, it can be hard. It can drive distance between us. It occurs to me. 

Kat Vellos: It can. Yeah. 

Amy: Kat, tell us about all the different places that people can find your work. Find out more about you find out about, you know, working with you because  I'm sure this message will resonate with everybody listening. 

Kat Vellos: So my website is weshouldgettogether.com for anybody. Who's curious about, you know, the book, the events that I'm doing, uh, you mentioned the 2022 better conversations calendar every month. And that has an alternative to a typical question that we ask, like, how are you, how was school today?

How was work today? What do you do? Where are you from? All of these things? Every single month has a full month of alternatives to them. The questions [00:28:00] and, yeah. So if they want to get involved in what I'm doing or learn more, or just look for resources to help them cultivate better, friendships had to, we should get together.com.

If you want to work with me, like I do facilitation and talks and whatnot, and you can go to my katvellos.com website and then send me a query on the contact form. 

Amy: I'll put the links to all of that in the show notes. Kat, I loved this conversation. Thanks for talking to me today.

Kat Vellos: Thank you so much for having me. This was really wonderful. .